Can Stucco Be Applied in Winter?
Short answer: Yes, it is possible to apply stucco even in the cold winter months!
It is possible to apply stucco during the winter by using an enclosure and a source of heat. Because the application of stucco relies on water evaporation, dry and warm conditions are preferred to avoid stucco drying too slowly – resulting in an uneven colour and texture. Other adverse effects of slow drying stucco include delamination or peeling, and adhesive failure.
Using an Enclosure and Heat Source
To apply stucco during the winter, an enclosure is built around the wall and a heat source is applied to the wall to facilitate quick drying. The enclosure works similarly to a tent, and is usually made out of simple tarps on scaffolding. Heaters (usually fuelled by propane) are directed at the fresh stucco to keep it from freezing, and allow it to cure properly.
It is important to keep an eye out on the weather when planning to stucco during the winter, to give your stucco the best possible winter conditions. Since your tarp enclosure is not completely sealed, it is best to avoid extremely cold and wet days. For best results, aim for days that are 5 degrees Celsius and above. For best winter stucco practices, use acrylicized stucco to avoid issues, and keep your stucco supplies in a heated indoor area when not in use.